I’m going all guns preparing my sculpture for the New Atlantis theatre show by The Enlightenment Cafe. It’s opening on 19th January at The Crystal in London, UK. Having made iceberg moulds and delivered them to the UCL ice physics laboratory, the next step is to create a hot water boiler that responds to water-related activity on Twitter.
This involves some playing with electronics…
I unwrapped my “christmas presents” from myself gleefully yesterday morning. Electronics to play with! A Raspberry Pi! Cables! A servo!!
Except not everything was there… In fact, there were no jumper cables, and there was no Raspberry Pi B+. And to make matters worse, the 7 inch screen I ordered arrived broken – crucial wires having been sliced through before it was bunged in a package and sent over to me.
Woe. Woe is me.
Having fortified myself with tea, I decided to see how far we could get with an old RPi (Model A, rev 2) and the cables we already had.
Thus, I made command central. All systems go.
Using one age old CRT monitor as a workbench, I used the other – normally used for video editing – as a makeshift screen. I literally lost track of how long we spent looking for cables to hook up these bad boys. Finally, hanging onto these hulking brutes of useless electronics through international relocations has paid off. Jun (my incredibly helpful other half without whom I’d not have got so far yesterday) – and his vast stores of seemingly irrelevant and outdated gear – has been vindicated.
But it’s not just Jun who hangs onto old electronics – I have been lugging old bits of redundant crap around the globe too. Including this old motherboard.
This old motherboard which was the source of the final component we needed – female adapters for my cables so we could link them up to the RPi.
All that remained was for me to hook everything up
Do a bit of programming – you can find some details of how Jun and I got it working on my New Atlantis hackpad – and suddenly you have a servo getting its groove on to the tune of Twitter.
“This video shows two steps in getting a servo to respond to Twitter. First, we’re rigging it up and testing its response by varying the PWM-MS values. Then we hook it up to a Node Red script that scrapes Twitter for #water and #fail at the limits of the PWM-MS values – and it’s grooving to Twitter’s beats.”
The Node Red json files for this can be found on my github repository for New Atlantis.
Finally, I’m struggling with a name for the sculpture. In a wanton fit of sentimentality and punnage I went for Melting Hearts – but I hate it. Suggestions gratefully appreciated.